The European Commission’s long-awaited Urban Mobility Action Plan was adopted yesterday (30 September) in a move designed to help local and national authorities make urban travel “easier, greener and better organised”.
EU Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani stressed that the action plan “respects entirely the idea of subsidiarity. We don’t want to impose anything to anybody”.
The action plan encourages cities to exchange information and good practices, eventually leading to a “set of voluntary commitments”.
The plan proposes 20-odd actions, addressing issues such as:
- Better travel information through links between national, regional and local travel planners;
- access rules for green, environmental zones;
- passenger rights in urban transport;
- research and demonstration projects on lower- and zero-emission vehicles for urban public transport, and;
- energy-efficient driving.
No new funding accompanies the proposed actions. The Commission notes that “it is not the task of the EU to fill the gaps that authorities at local, regional and national level leave when they have to re-consider their financial interventions in urban mobility, be it for strategic reasons or due to the economic crisis”.
Meanwhile, the EU executive plans to assess the sector’s future funding needs and streamline its existing funding instruments – the European Investment Bank, the Structural and Cohesion Funds and the Framework Programme for Research and Development – with market needs and policy objectives.